Browns add Jack Conklin, Cody Parkey, Charley Hughlett to COVID-19 list

The Browns are facing unexpected changes in two key units thanks to Wednesday’s news.

Cleveland announced it has placed tackle Jack Conklin, long snapper Charley Hughlett and kicker Cody Parkey on the reserve/COVID-19 list. As per NFL-NFLPA policy, the team did not reveal which of the players (if any) tested positive for COVID-19 before landing on the list, which exists for a player who either tests positive or has been identified as a close contact with an infected person.

Conklin joins fellow offensive lineman Chris Hubbard on the reserve/COVID-19 list, leaving reserve Kendall Lamm as the man to fill in at right tackle. Lamm saw snaps at both tackle positions in 2019 amid a rash of injuries up front.

Conklin’s potential absence would mean another shuffle for the Browns up front, who just completed a stretch in which they were forced to start Hubbard at right guard in place of Wyatt Teller, who had missed a month due to injury.

Perhaps more concerning for Cleveland’s chances in Week 11 is the potential absence of both its long snapper and kicker. Understandably, teams don’t carry backup kickers or long snappers, and the latter is a position Hughlett has manned in Cleveland for six years. Hughlett is so dependable in his niche role, he’s playing under a six-year contract signed in 2017 that runs through 2022. His absence, while not significant in terms of total snaps affected, will be significant for Cleveland’s special teams.

Parkey, meanwhile, has shed his reputation for missing in important moments, making 11 of 12 field goal attempts in 2020, which is his second stint with the Browns. Parkey was on Cleveland’s practice squad, which allowed for quick elevation to the active roster amid required COVID-19 protocols after Cleveland cut Austin Seibert following a dreadful Week 1 performance.

Matt McCrane is listed on Cleveland’s practice squad, where he’s been since he signed in late September, meaning the Browns will be able to send him out to kick if Parkey does not come off the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for Sunday’s meeting in Philadelphia.

As for the rest of the group on the list — which includes fullback Andy Janovich — we’ll have to wait to see how the Browns decide to replace them, if necessary, this weekend.

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